William Salmon william.salmon at YALE.EDU
Wed Mar 5 02:13:26 UTC 2008

>>  I say 'pulse machine':
>>  I have to stop at the pulse machine.
>>  I have to go pulse.
> Interesting! How's it derived?
I'm sure it must be that there were a lot of Pulse brand machines in
Texas at the time I was coming of age to use them. I've checked with a
couple of friends from Texas who also say this. My wife, from Ohio,
says 'go to the ATM'. I like 'pulse' better because there's a readily
available verb form that is not the case with ATM, such as this web

I had to go and pulse some money out of the good 'ol ATM!

Many of the google hits seem to be Texas related. Here's another Texas
guy's take:

You call it Interact.
But... in Texas no-one would know what you were talking about. When you
need cash, you go to the pulse machine, or you go pulse, as in...
"We'll meet y'all at the club at ten-thirty, Lisa needs to run by 7-11
and pulse."

This is a totally normal phrase to hear in Texas.

But... when I was in San Francisco and, not thinking, asked if we could
stop by a pulse machine, my friends thought I was asking about the
blood-pressure-checker in the back of the Eckerd's (or Walgreen's) that
you play with while waiting for your prescription!!!

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list